Album Review: Willie Nelson, God's Problem Child

Admirable Nelson

Back in 2007, Merle Haggard recorded an album with his old pals Willie Nelson and Ray Price called, accurately, The Last of The Breed. Well, Willie is the only one left, apart from maybe Kristofferson, for whom that title now seems appropriate.

This lovely record is as comfortable as your battered old leather jacket. It’s a no-gimmicks, old school country collection, a world away from the barbecues and pick-up trucks-fixated dreck that Nashville continues to churn out. Trigger twangs, the mighty Mickey Raphael’s harmonica soothes, and Willie’s unique phrasing is a joy, as always. The songs are just right, whether he’s getting the digs in at Trump on ‘Delete And Fast Forward’, paying a heartfelt tribute to Haggard on ‘He Won’t Ever Be Gone’, or mourning the passing of love on the wonderfully titled ‘Your Memory Has A Mind Of Its Own’.

He both mocks his age, on the internet death hoax ridiculing ‘Still Not Dead’, and celebrates it on ‘It Gets Easier’, a song extolling the virtues of not giving a monkey’s about what anyone else thinks, an attitude which pretty much sums up Willie’s career, and weed-loving lifestyle.

His prolificacy in recent years would have had Prince scratching his head. And this album, arriving just in time for his 84th birthday isn’t the end of things either; the next one is apparently already in the bag. Which is good news. God’s Problem Child is great.


Related Articles

Nelson, Kristofferson & Haggard recording album

Willie Nelson and pals are collaborating in the studio.

Read More

Willie Nelson - To All The Girls...

Duets album from the original American Outlaw

Read More


Country Icon Indulges His Inner Karaoke King

Read More

Country Music, I am what I am

Iconic country outlaws on top form

Read More

Wilie Nelson live at The Point, Dublin

Huge cheers erupted when he started into the familiar chorus of ‘On The Road Again’ and another classic, ‘Mama, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys’.

Read More


Nelson's Songbirdfails to measure up to his previous albums.

Read More

Willie Nelson comes to Ireland

Country legend Willie Nelson will appear with his family as part of the Mean Fiddler Fleadh 2007 - and he's got some rather special guests to support.

Read More


What is it with people making reggae cover albums? A month before Sinéad O'Connor unleashes her Jah-tastic Throw Down Your Arms collection, Willie Nelson gets in on the act with this frankly rather bizarre album.

Read More

It Will Always Be

This is Willie Nelson’s second new album in a month, not bad for a man in his seventies.

Read More

Willie Nelson Dublin-bound

Country fans are in for a treat next April when Willie Nelson plays the Point Theatre

Read More

Outlaws and Angels

Impressively diverse and all-encompassing this album includes duets with Al Green, Toots Hibbert, Carole King and Lucinda Williams among others.

Read More

What makes the grass grow green in Texas

The outlaw loved by the in-law, Willie Nelson can draw 4,000 people outside Dublin virtually by word of mouth. But it ain't all middle of the road: as befits a veteran of the honky-tonks who had done battle with the IRS and the law, the country music legend can still get in touch with the dark side of Hank

Read More

The Great Divide

Even with the big name guest appearances, it is often the songs that feature Nelson on his own that really hit home

Read More

Night & Day

One of the true icons of country music, Willie Nelson has seen more of life than most of the rest of us combined – including well publicised bouts with alcohol and drugs and a particularly intimate knowledge of the workings of the IRS.

Read More

Across The Borderline

THIS CROSS-Pollination between Irish rock acts and American country singers will have to stop.

Read More

Advertise With Us

For information including benefits, key facts, figures and rates for advertising with Hot Press, click below


Find us elsewhere